AO 2018: Timi & Kristina Mladenovic reach the final

AO 2018: Timi & Kristina Mladenovic reach the final

24/01/2018 – The Hungarian-French pair lost a total of six games in the SF.

 

AUSTRALIAN OPEN (55 000 000 AUD, HARD COURT), WOMEN’S DOUBLES, SEMIFINAL
Tímea Babos, Kristina Mladenovic (Hungarian, French, 5)-Su Wei Hsieh, Shuai Peng (Taiwanese, Chinese, 8) 6:4, 6:2

 

The match lasted 1 hour 20 minutes in Melbourne.

 

“It’s amazing that I can be in the final of a Grand Slam tournament again! In today’s match We played very well, the game went very well. I’m incredibly happy with that! Especially after the quarter-final on Tuesday, as it was a very emotional, difficult match. It is very important that this is how We have turned the page. From the match itself: the result seems smooth, but it was not an easy semifinal. We also led to 5: 1 in the first and second set, which shows that We played very well. But in both of these sets, we got to 5:1 after difficult games. In addition, in the first set, the opponent returned to 5:4 and had a ball to 5: 5. Overall, almost every game was tightly formed. We played very well, and most importantly, We are constantly improving match by match. Laughing, We said that We could beat 6:1, 6:1 Ourselves from the opening round. Kristina has improved a lot, she has played very well today! And our partnership is so: I feel good on the court with Kristina, our goals are the same, We complement each other well. Grand Slam Final is Grand Slam Final! I have enough dense days, the second day I have two matches a day. However, it is certain that the final of the Women’s Doubles will be on Friday. But i may be glad I have so many tasks. With My coach I told each other that I can play almost on every court. I’m going around the whole facility, it feels good. I’m awaiting the final! It will be a great moment because We played well and developed in every game. I hope to enjoy the final, enjoy the game and get the most out of it” – said Timi.

 

The two pair met four years ago at the 1/8 final in Wimbledon. At that time, the Asian double were fresh Roland Garros Champs and World No1s, and also title holders and World Champions. But finally the Hungarian-French double won 4:6, 7:6, 6:2.

 

Now the semifinal in Australia was much simpler! Timi and Kristina Mladenovic played far better than their more routine opponents, and they fought in a superb match, earning the final at the first Grand Slam tournament of the season.

 

At the beginning of the 41-minute opening act the fifth seed pair broke the opponent to 15. Giving the rhythm of the semifinal. Timi and Mladenovic then made a great impression, after 3:1 they broke the former World No1 pair to 15, again, then won their own serve to 40 (5:1).

 

The next few minutes were about the Asian pair. Hsieh and Peng won three games in a row, after 5:3 they saved a set and a break point. And it was not the end of the comeback. In the tenth game, they had a break point at 30-40. But Timi and Mladenovic finally turned the coil off, so they closed the set!

 

The second act was more smoothly formed. The Hungarian-French double won their opponent’s serve to 30, then hold their own game in a huge battle. And there was no stopping! After 2:0 Timi and Kristina Mladenovic lost only a single rally as a receiver, and saved their service game from 15-40.

 

At 6:4, 4:0 Hsieh and Peng could only hope for the miracle, but there was no real chance. Timi and Kristina Mladenovic played well in the baseline and at the net, and after 5:1 they had a total of three match points. This time, without success.

 

So in the end the Hungarian player served for the final of the Australian Open. Timi was confident and Kristina Mladenovic was great at the net. After the French player’s great solutions, the led 40-15. And finally, Timi finished the match with an excellent baseline attacking forehand.

 

Timi is the first Hungarian tennis player who can play for adults final at the Australian Open. The 24-year old player in 2014 was a finalist with Kristina Mladenovic and in 2016 with Yaroslava Shvedova (Kazakhstan) at the WD in Wimbledon. Meanwhile, in 2015, Timi and Austrian Alexander Peya had a MD final also in England.

 

The Hungarian-French pair’s opponent in Friday’s final in Melbourne will be Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina.

 

Makarova (born: 7 June, 1988) is 3rd in the world rankings, and ranked 3rd (first on 8 June, 2015) as her career best position. So far she has won 12 WTA and 9 ITF competitions. On the side of Vesnina she remained unbeaten in 2013 at the Roland Garros, in 2014 at the US Open and 2017 in Wimbledon, and also was finalist in 2014 at the Australian Open, in 2015 in Wimbledon and in 2016 at Roland Garros. In 2016, the Russian double won the Rio Olympics and the WTA Finals in Singapore.

 

Vesnina (born: 1 August, 1986) is third in the world rankings, and her career best position is also 3rd (first time: 17 February 2014). So far, she has won 17 WTA and 6 ITFs in this genre.

 

Last year Makarova and Vesnina won in the Wimbledon Grand Slam tournament and also in Dubai (United Arab Emirates, 2 365 250 USD, hard court) and in Toronto (Canada, 2 735 139 USD, hard court).